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My Garden Diary

July and August 2016

Copyright © 2016 by David E. Ross

Many years ago, when I first started my Web site, I created an online diary of my gardening activities and observations. However, with work and the commute from Hell, I was often so tired I had to choose between maintaining my garden and maintaining my diary. Sometimes, I did neither. In 1998, I stopped my diary and removed the pages from my Web site.

Now I am retired. I am well-rested and have plenty of time to both garden and maintain a diary. This diary is primarily for my own benefit, so that I can look back upon what I did and when. But I thought others might also be interested, so here it is.

Also see What's Blooming in My Garden Now?


January-February 2013
March-April 2013
May-June 2013
July-August 2013
September-October 2013
November-December 2013
January-February 2014
March-April 2014
May-June 2014
July-August 2014
September-October 2014
November-December 2014
January-February 2015
March-April 2015
May-June 2015
July-August 2015
September-October 2015
November-December 2015
January-February 2016
March-April 2016
May-June 2016

Diary entries for 2004 through 2012

Entries below are in reverse order (latest at the top). Daily, I might stoop to pull a weed or use a hose to water some potted plants; however, I don't consider those significant gardening activities. Thus, you will not see daily entries. Also, I might accumulate a few entries before updating this page on the Web.

When plants have well-known common names, their scientific names are given only the first time they appear on this page (entry closest to the bottom). There, the common name is in bold or appears as a link to another Web page.

Dates refer to other entries in the same year as the entry in which they appear unless a different year is given. Dates without years, however, may refer to entries on prior pages for the same year.

Date and Weather Observations and Activities
17 Jul

Clear, sunny, and warm

Temp: 59-88
Humidity: 37%
Wind: 1-10

Rain —
This season: 9.08
Days since last: 72

The 'Goodwin Creek Grey' lavender (Lavandula lanata × dentata) in the brick panel in front started to wilt. Although lavender is drought-tolerant, this had not received any water in over two months. Over the past few days, I gave it, the valley white oak (Qurecus lobata), and the rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) deep soakings with a slightly trickling hose. Unlike native western oaks — oaks "planted" by nature and not humans — my valley white oak had its taproot removed while still a seedling. Thus, summer water — fatal to native wester oaks — is not a problem for my oak.

Climbed part-way up My Hill to adjust the CDs that I hung from the grape vines (22 Jun). While they might have kept birds away, they did nothing to stop squirrels or raccoons. On my 'Perlette' grape vine, only one small bunch of ripe grapes remained; I had them with lunch. While on My Hill, I also cut down several seedling trees. Many of them were actually new shoots from seedlings that were previously cut down.

Rubbed away some new shoots on the loquat tree (Eriobotrya japonica 'MacBeth') that were starting to grow where I do not want any branches. The tree constantly produces new shoots all over its main limbs and trunk.

Re-tied a cane on the 'Dublin Bay' climbing rose. The twine that I used when I pruned this rose (21 Jan) had degraded and broke.

Trimmed the edge of that path between the teardrop, camellia, and east beds in back. Most of this involved trimming the pink clover (Persicaria capitata) and Cuphea hyssopifolia in the teardrop bed, but I also pruned some 'George Taber' azaleas in the camellia bed that were growing over the path. This completed all the trimming along the paths in back.

13 Jul

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 60-92
Humidity: 35%
Wind: 0-14

Rain —
This season: 9.08
Days since last: 68

Fed the dwarf citrus with a commercial citrus food plus a large pinch of zinc sulfate. I also fed the gardenia (G. jasminoides 'Veitchii') with the same but more generously.

Trimmed the third and last heavenly bamboo. The first one I trimmed is now quite small, but it no longer looks like it was attacked with a hachet.

Harvested some dill (Anethum graveolens) from its flower pot (1 Apr) and put it to dry on a rack in our dining room.

Trimmed the edges of the path in back between the lawn and the teardrop bed.

4 Jul

Clear, sunny, and mild

Temp: 54-84
Humidity: 18%
Wind: 0-14

Rain —
This season: 9.08
Days since last: 59

The heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica) that I severely trimmed (29 May) is now looking good, so I decided to trim the other two. I did one today, nearly filling the green trash bin for garden waste (collected for the county's composting program).

Trimmed more edges of the paths in back, this time opposite the circular bed both along the rose bed and small brick patio and also along the lawn.

1 Jul

Clear, sunny, and hot

Temp: 59-86
Humidity: 46%
Wind: 1-11

Trimmed the rest of the edges of the path in back between the rose bed and the lawn.

Rain —
This season: 9.08
Days since last: 56

Weather data are from the Cheeseboro (CHE) weather station, about 2 miles ENE of my house.

The high temperature (°F) is daytime for the indicated date; the low temperature (°F) is for the previous night.

Winter chill is the cumulative hours of temperatures at or below 45°F from 1 November through 31 March. It is reported during that period and through April.

The relative humidity is at noon. (In my garden, it is likely higher than reported, a result of regular irrigation.)

Wind speeds (mph) are average (not peak) low and high, midnight to midnight (subject to later correction for diary entries posted before the end of the day). I also indicate peak wind gusts parenthetically when they are significantly high.

Rain is in inches. Season is the cumulative amount of rainfall from 1 October until 30 September of the following year (our "rain-year"). Week is the cumulative amount of measurable rainfall from noon seven days ago until noon of the indicated date. If no measurable rain fell in that period, Days since last is reported.

Characterization of the weather (e.g., Clear, sunny, and warm) is purely subjective; for example, "warm" might occur with higher temperatures than "hot" if the former occurs with lower humidity and more breezes than the latter. Also, a day that would normally be characterized as "mild" might instead be "warm" if the immediately previous days were quite cold. Finally, such characterization reflects when I was actually outside and gardening and ignores changes that occur while I am inside.

The signature line I use when writing messages about my garden includes the following:

Climate: California Mediterranean
Sunset Zone: 21 -- interior Santa Monica Mountains with some ocean influence (USDA 10a, very close to Sunset Zone 19)
See also My Climate.
May-June 2016
March-April 2016
January-February 2016
November-December 2015
September-October 2015
July-August 2015
May-June 2015
March-April 2015
January-February 2015
November-December 2014
September-October 2014
July-August 2014
May-June 2014
March-April 2014
January-February 2014
November-December 2013
September-October 2013
July-August 2013
May-June 2013
March-April 2013
January-February 2013

Diary entries for 2004 through 2012


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